Northwestern Events Calendar


Dr. Lama Jabb: “Distilling Joys and Woes: An Appreciation of Contemporary Tibetan Women’s Writing”

When: Tuesday, April 12, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: Crowe Hall, 1860 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Graduate Students

Contact: Joshua Shelton  

Group: The Khyentse Foundation Buddhist Studies Lecture Series

Category: Academic


With the exception of a few remarkable female luminaries, traditional Tibetan literature hardly has any room for the public voice of Tibetan women. Women have been mostly excluded from and totally marginalized in the Tibetan republic of letters, which has been a men’s world for an extremely long time. The Tibetan intellectual scene and Tibetan language literary production are unfortunately still dominated by men. However, Tibetan women writers are making welcome inroads into these exclusive male reserves. In recent decades there has been a refreshing proliferation of Tibetan women’s literary voices. By giving artistic utterance to the many joys and woes of Tibetan women from all walks of life, contemporary Tibetan women’s writing not only diversifies and enriches Tibetan literature, but also helps us appreciate Tibetan history, religion, culture and society anew through fresh and critical perspectives and insights.  

This lecture will give an overview of contemporary Tibetophone women’s writing and highlight some of its predominant themes that critique major socio-cultural norms and complex repressive structures. Through the exploration of specific poems and short stories it will demonstrate how Tibetan female writers address exploitative relations between men and women, domestic and other forms of violence against women, and the marginalization and exclusion of women from education, employment, artistic production, political power and the economic system. Alongside bestowing delight and insight, in their creative hands literature functions as a mode of redress that gives expression to the repressed and counters oppressive forces and injustices.

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